Coach Trip to Bempton & Flamborough Head - 12 May 2013
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About 30 members were up early for a 7:30am start on our last coach trip of the season to Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head. The weather forecast was for it to be brighter on the east side of the country and this proved to be true as the sun came out as we crawled along the M62 in speed restricted roadworks section of the motorway.

This was a day of two distinct halves. In the morning we stood on the top of the cliffs in the sunshine gazing at the myriad of birds that were clinging to and circling around the vertical faces of the chalk crags. In the afternoon we had to work hard to find any warblers in the hedgerows near Flamborough Head.

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We had a very nice start to the day. As we arrived on the Bempton site a Whitethroat sat on top of a tree and sang a welcome to us. Also there was a flock of Tree Sparrows hopping all over the roof of the RSPB shop.

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The Cliffs at Bempton are a truly amazing sight. Almost every ledge is crammed with seabirds, predominantly Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills, and Kittiwakes with the occasional Puffin thrown in to test the sharp eyed. There was no problem in finding the birds as they were there in their thousands. The reaction from our group was to gaze from one of the viewing sites and say Wow! Then move to the next viewing point and once again said Wow! At our first stopping point there was a very obliging Puffin which kept flying off but returning to give us a different view.

We spent a very happy morning scrutinising each ledge and chatting to other birders who were also enjoying the experience of viewing large numbers of birds.

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At lunchtime we returned to the coach and carried on to our second venue at Flamborough Head. Our plan here was to follow a route on a path at to a wood that are well-known as shelter for warblers and finches on their return from migration. Unfortunately the weather had taken a turn for the worse and it started to rain and there was rather a brisk cold breeze. We were warned by our leader that this was not good conditions to find the hoped for birds and we recognised this as a euphemism for ‘we are not going to see much’! This proved to be true and it took some hard work to find a solitary Blackcap. The best we could do on this section of the walk were distant views across the fields of Shelduck, Curlew, and Pheasant.

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We continued our walk which returned to the cliff Coast Path and we were rewarded with good views of Linnets and Skylarks in the field beside the path. There were also good views to the sea and we spotted various gulls and the bird of the cormorant family (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) whose common name, we were told, cannot be said in polite society by the ladies of the Birdwatching Group of The Wilmslow Guild!

Regrettably the rain and the cold breeze had dampened our spirits so most of us cheered ourselves up by visiting the café for tea and cakes before boarding the coach for the trip home.

The last Coach Trip of the season proved to be as enjoyable as all of the other trips and we all look forward to next year.

Photos by Chris S and Robert D.

Chris S

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